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Over the summer, I got invited to experience the vibrant culture, beautiful fairytale castles, architecture, food flavors and diversity of languages Luxembourg has to offer. Did you know that Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in Europe? Well, do not be deceived because it has a lot to offer! In this post, I share some of my favorite spots in Luxembourg, the highlights and of course, travel tips (things to do in Luxembourg City in one day.) Warning: You may get inspired to plan to visit Luxembourg immediately upon reading this. Luxembourg in Europe is not to be missed!
Table of Contents (skip directly to the info you're looking for)
- 1 Things you should know about Luxembourg – History 101
- 2 How did I get to Luxembourg?
- 3 Airport commute: How to get from the airport to Luxembourg city?
- 4 Best Things to do in Luxembourg City in one day – Luxembourg Attractions
- 4.1 First stop within Ville Haute (Historical Center of Luxembourg City)
- 4.2 Coffee lover?
- 4.3 Second stop
- 4.4 Third stop: Who’s Hungry?! It is Lunch time
- 4.5 Ready to explore more?
- 4.6 What’s for dinner?
- 4.7 Nightlife anyone?
- 4.8 Do you have more than 24 hours to spend in Luxembourg? Then I suggest the following:
- 4.9 Other Resources – Useful Apps for your trip to Luxembourg
Things you should know about Luxembourg – History 101
Luxembourg has a very interesting history, which makes this country special, starting with having the world’s only Grand Duchy (a state ruled by a grand duke or duchess). Luxembourg has a famous military fortress, which was founded in the 10th century.
As you walk around the streets of Luxembourg, you never know if it is better to say Thank you, Danke, Merci, or just simply learn thank you in their language, Luxembourgish. This is all because Luxembourg belonged to different countries (The Netherlands, Spain, Austria, France, and Prussia) before finally becoming an independent constitutional monarchy in 1839.
It is a mix of influences when it comes to language, food, people and more. Get ready to embrace it!
You might also like: Five of the best European cities for solo female travelers
In addition, Luxembourg is one of Europe’s most prominent financial centers. It is home to the European Investment Bank and other important financial institutions. Fact: Most people commute to work daily or weekly from other European countries. You will see lots of business people, especially during the week.
How did I get to Luxembourg?
I arrived to Luxembourg directly from Vienna on an economy non-stop flight that felt more like business class. Luxair was totally a luxury in the air experience for me. You can find many non-stop flights to Luxembourg from almost every airport in Europe, which makes it a great destination to visit for 24 hours, or for a weekend getaway.
Additional reading: Travel in Style with Luxair Airlines from Vienna to Luxembourg (airline review)
Airport commute: How to get from the airport to Luxembourg city?
You can take a taxi or, if you are on a budget, it is super easy to take the bus from the airport to the city center with your Luxembourg card. The Bus #16 is a short ride to the city center. Everything in Luxembourg is very close by.
Where to Stay in Luxembourg City?
I suggest the Hotel Novotel Suites Luxembourg. It has a very super modern and clean look, great customer service, comfortable beds, fast wifi, and it’s very well located since right in front of it you can catch the bus to the airport (20 minutes away) and it’s only two stops away from Ville Haute. The breakfast had many options and the food was delicious. I truly enjoyed my stay at the Hotel Novotel Suites.
Best Things to do in Luxembourg City in one day – Luxembourg Attractions
Enough of history and travel arrangements. Let’s discuss what to see/do when you only have 24 hours in Luxembourg. The good news is that all of the heritage buildings in Luxembourg city are located within minutes of each other. It really is a super, walkable city and you can see some of the main highlights of Luxembourg in a day.
First stop within Ville Haute (Historical Center of Luxembourg City)
Place Guillaume II
Start your day by visiting the Place Guillaume II – It is a town square where you can find markets, stores with local products made in Luxembourg, take photos and/or just enjoy the local ambiance and do some people watching. There are so many great trendy cafes, pastry, delicacy and gourmet-shops nearby, you can’t make a bad decision. Some cool options are:
This place is great to satisfy your sweet tooth. From outside you can smell and see heavenly chocolate and a variety of cakes. It is perfect a place to grab some tea, coffee, hot chocolate and enjoy one of their cakes. Nice décor and delicious sweets.
Boutique Léa Linster Delicatessen
This cute little shop is very well known for their Madeleines. They are delicious and crunchy. You must try them! I especially loved the half chocolate ones.
Next to Boutique Léa Linster Delicatessen, this is a great store to buy products made in Luxembourg (locally designed and produced). You will find a very good selection of items. Good location to shop for some souvenirs too. Note: You can take home some Luxembourg Local Sparkling Wine, Beer and other drinks.
One of the best coffee shops I found is a 6-minute walk from Place Guillaume II called Coffee Shop Knopes SA. It was highly recommended by some local friends and it did not disappoint.
They roast their own coffee (which you can also buy there). It is a small place but people praised it as the best coffee in town, and I agree! Coffee is fresh and delicious.
The grand-ducal palace in Luxembourg
The town residence of the Grand Duke, the grand-ducal palace in Luxembourg is a must-see. It is right behind the Place Guillaume II and it is the official residence of Grand Duke Henri.
It is unquestionably an example of a great architectural style and is one of the most beautiful façades in the city (Flemish Renaissance, 16th century).
I was also looking forward to seeing the interior (since I heard it is so majestical) but it can only be visited exclusively during specific times in the summer: July 15th through September 3rd. I must go back to see the inside and you should plan a visit around that time for the full experience.
Note: It is still great to go there to watch the changing of the guard in front of the palace. You will love the cobblestoned streets and the overall area. I highly recommend that you not only visit during the day but also return to see it at night. It’s just beautiful!
Don’t forget to just simply wander around Ville Haute, take some selfies and visit their shops. You will make fabulous memories. Fact: The ancient streets and alleys of the old town are featured on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
Third stop: Who’s Hungry?! It is Lunch time
If you prefer to just have a light lunch, I totally recommend to stop by Njord MNHA. It’s a very casual place where you can just take a tray and pick from a selection of sandwiches, quiches, salads, toasts, other snacks, cakes, natural juices, smoothies and more. They have many vegetarian options as well.
If you are looking for a more gourmet place, I recommend you visit Cafesino. This venue is a rebirth of the over-a-centenary-old culinary and cultural history of the legendary Casino Luxembourg, in a chic brasserie spirit. Their food is very fresh and super delicious.
Suggested: Traditional Turkish Dishes you must try!
Ready to explore more?
Visit the world’s longest underground tunnel system – Casemates
Casemates is a must-see if you visit Luxembourg. It is definitely one of my favorite things to do in Luxembourg city in one day!
It’s a great place to explore (especially if you like fortifications). In some areas it can get a bit dark and narrow, but I think that adds to its mystery and charm. It was also cooler there which was a welcomed surprise since I visited Luxembourg during a summer heatwave.
Casemates du Bock is a network of galleries excavated in the 18thcentury to add to the city’s outstanding defenses. You can find great spots for pictures with amazing views of the city. It’s such a photogenic place, you can’t go wrong.
After Casemates, you can go to Grund. The Grund district is great for a relaxing walk, known for its medieval architecture, scenery and riverside promenade, allowing you to take in the magic and beauty of Luxembourg.
To reach Grund, you need to go downhill (steep) all the way to the bottom. The elevator is far away on the opposite side, so what I suggest is for you to go down walking, explore the entire area down there (where you will see ruins, walls, pathways, arcs, river, restaurants, bars, etc., then come back up after crossing to the other side with the elevator
Note: Many bars and nightlife options open later in the day which is why I recommend that you visit during the day and evening.
While it’s much easier to do it this way, it’s still a lot of walking so, get ready to burn those calories consumed earlier! Another option is to take the bus back up. I personally prefer to walk to take in the magic and beauty of Luxembourg.
After going up (in my case exhausted because of the heatwave) I suggest you to go back to your hotel, or find a spot to relax and refresh before you head back out for dinner.
What’s for dinner?
For dinner, I recommend Brasserie Siegfried. It’s a great restaurant with a fun atmosphere and ambiance. Beginning with the cool décor (wallpaper displaying ads, commercials, brands and more from around the world), we saw people playing fun quiz games at their tables.
They also have a nice bar area with a variety of drinks. It is an excellent place for groups. We truly enjoyed their food (yummy steak) and special selection of wine and beer.
The Grund has many bars, lounges and great places to hangout plus, it is beautiful to see all the lights at night. If you prefer a wine bar, Luxembourg has lots of great ones. Just walk around, feel the ambiance and pick your place.
Note: If you are not about the nightlife, or you just happen to arrive in the afternoon/evening, there are also city promenade-walking tours of Luxembourg, available with guides who’ll cover the highlights in the evening, but only on Fridays. You can get your tickets here.
Do you have more than 24 hours to spend in Luxembourg? Then I suggest the following:
- Take a day trip to explore some of the fairytale castles of Luxembourg.
- Museum lover? There are 7 museums in Luxembourg City located within less than a mile and they are free of charge with your Luxembourg Card.
- Visiting during the summertime? Why not check out some outdoor concerts or events by visiting Visitluxembourg.com before your trip.
Other Resources – Useful Apps for your trip to Luxembourg
- Geoportal.lu for maps with hiking trails, biking tracks etc.
As discussed, Luxembourg has a lot to offer with regards to food, sites and culture do to it’s unique history prior to Independence. You cannot replicate this experience anywhere else in the world! Enjoy!
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Photos by: Helmut Didio
Note: This trip was hosted by Visit Luxembourg but all my opinions are my own.